Monthly Archives: June 2013

Play High-Tech Hide ‘n Seek

Adventure #49: Play High-Tech Hide ‘n Seek.

Geocaching is something I had heard about over the years but never tried. Of all the adventure suggestions posted to my Facebook page, the one that has come up over and over again is Geocaching. Many have said that it makes for a fantastic (and free) family-friendly Burlington adventure.

Geocaching is played all over the world. The official Geocaching website says that there are now 2 million official Geocaches to be found.

By visiting Geocaching.com and searching for Burlington, Ontario, you’ll discover that there are dozens of hidden caches placed all over our city — often in places you’d never suspect. Look at how many are in the Orchard community alone!

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Eat Like Royalty at the Taste of Burlington

Adventure #48: Eat Like Royalty at the Taste of Burlington.

Everyone likes dining out, but the costs of a meal, drink, and dessert can add up quickly.

When you live in a city like Burlington, with so many fine restaurants to enjoy, you want to experience it all! Thankfully, the Taste of Burlington program runs twice a year. This makes it easier to eat like royalty on a peasant’s budget.

The Burlington Performing Arts Centre recently hosted an advance launch of the summer edition of Taste of Burlington. The idea here is to give diners a “taste” of what’s to come when the program runs July 21 to August 5. Oh my, did Mr and Mrs Burlington ever eat like a King and Queen.

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Swim, Bike & Run in the Tri Kids Triathlon

Adventure #47: Swim, Bike & Run in the Tri Kids Triathlon.

In what can only be described as the “feel good event of the summer,” the annual Tri Kids Triathlon at Nelson Park and Pool attracts hundreds of kids and their parents to a day of great ambition, huge accomplishments and big boosts in self-esteem.

Kids of all ages — 3 to 15 — have a chance to swim in the outdoor pool and then bike and run across the length of the park.

These events are all about achievement and not competition. The philosophy is one of complete not compete, with a goal of inspiring self-confidence and motivating kids to stay active through sport.

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Enjoy the Good Life in Downtown Burlington

Adventure #46: Enjoy the Good Life in Downtown Burlington.

“We are so lucky!”

This is a phrase that’s been posted over and over again to my Facebook page by Burlington residents glowing about their dynamic downtown.

With its boutique shops, unique restaurants and first-class services — all in a beautiful waterfront setting — Burlingtonians take great pride in their city core. Downtown Burlington has been evolving since its first beginnings as the commercial centre of what was once known as Wellington Square (I previously wrote about our Downtown Heritage Walking Tour adventure).

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Pick Your Own Strawberries, Sweet and Juicy

Adventure #45: Pick Your Own Strawberries, Sweet and Juicy.

It’s strawberry season! One of our favourite June rituals is to go strawberry-picking with our boys. In Burlington there are a few choices of U-Pick strawberry farms nearby.

Spring was late this year and so are the berries. When we heard that Uncle Scott’s Farm had finally opened for berry picking, we loaded the kids in the car and headed up Appleby Line.

One of the best parts of berry season abracadabra im up like viagra is getting to personally pick each strawberry from the vine.

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Exposing the Secret Railway Community of Aldershot's Hidden Valley

Adventure #44: Ride the Rails in Hidden Valley.

Nestled along Grindstone creek, in a picturesque wooded valley, sits a part of Burlington that many residents don’t even realize exists. This place is called Hidden Valley.

Hidden Valley is one part municipal park and another part lost world. On the other side of the park, and on the other side of a long, narrow, claustrophobic tunnel beneath Highway 403, is a dead-end road of rustic homes of another time and place. Hidden Valley is described by one former resident as, “a magic little place; the kind of place a girl can get lost in the woods looking for fairies and dinosaur bones all day without her parents worrying at all.”

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Climb the Highest Heights at Climber’s Rock

Adventure #43: Climb the Highest Heights at Climber’s Rock.

A few week’s ago, I wrote about our Mount Nemo Day adventure where we hiked along the edge of the escarpment with spectacular views overlooking Burlington and much of Halton Region. But that’s not the only way to experience this elbow of the Niagara Escarpment.

It turns out that our majestic North Burlington mountain is “the most beautiful and best quality rock climbing in the Toronto area” according to the Climbers Guide to Ontario Rock.

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Welcome Summer with the Sound of Music

Adventure #42: Welcome Summer with the Sound of Music

In 2012, Burlington’s Sound of Music Festival was named the #1 music festival in the world! Can you believe it? Our “little” festival in our “little” city received the Grand Pinnacle award from the International Festivals & Events Association, reflecting the best overall festival or event anywhere.

Perhaps this is because the Sound of Music Festival isn’t so little anymore. Indeed, over the past fifteen years she has truly grown up to emerge as a phenomenal, world-class event.

This year, the event was expected to attract over 210,000 visits with its unique blend of over 90 new and emerging artists, Canadian icons and returning fan favourites. Musical acts were located throughout our waterfront and downtown area in 10 different performance areas.

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Set Your Sights on a Kaleidoscope of the Arts | Adventure #41

Billed as two events in one, this past weekend we visited the Burlington Art Centre for their Fine Art & Craft Festival combined with Kaleidoscope of the Arts. This annual event was even more special this year as the BAC celebrates its 35th anniversary!

The Fine Arts & Craft Festival presents a selection of more than 100 artists in an art market setting just across the street from Lake Ontario and Spencer Smith Park.

Welcome to the Burlington Art Centre Kaleidoscope of the Arts

This is not your average craft show. I guess that’s why they preface the event with the word “fine.” We’ve been to other shows with vendors who are clearly reselling “crafty” looking merchandise that have been imported from overseas.

The vendors in this show are selected by a jury according to stringent criteria:

  • Handmade
  • Original and creative
  • High quality construction
  • Appealing to buyers
  • Professional

Hand-made jewellery

We enjoyed speaking with many canadian express pharmacy online of the artists cialis e viagra assieme about their work and their passion for what they do.

A number of artists were busy displaying their talents “on stage” — overdose on viagra a nice touch as one can lose sight of the fact that everything for coke and cialis sale is made by hand.

Working artist demonstrations

After sampling a few of the outdoor vendor booths, we went inside the Burlington Art Centre to experience Kaleidoscope of the Arts. This event showcases all of the guilds that call the BAC home.

As we walked in the door, we received an Official Passport that detailed all there was to do:

  • See it: Watch an artist work! Look at works of art on display and for sale.
  • Try it: Try any of the many hands-on activities available this weekend for the whole family.
  • Buy it: Check out all the lovely works of art available 25mg viagra for performance anxiety for purchase and support your local guild artist.
  • Win it: Collect all 10 does viagra increase libido stamps for your chance to win a one year BAC membership.

Textile studio

What we found so neat about this event were all the hands-on activities open to anyone of any age to try.

We created our own photogram by selecting from a range of everyday objects and placing them directly onto photographic cialis in canada paper and exposing it to light.

Photogram activity

When we passed

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by again 15 minutes later, our photogram had been developed and was ready to take home for display on the fridge.

The full list of Hands-On Activities included:

  • Photography Darkroom: Create and develop your own photogram
  • Textile Studio: Make a
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  • Woodcarvers & Sculptors Studio: Finish and decorate a woodcarving or try your hand at sculpture and go on to Fine Arts to paint it
  • Fine Arts Studio: cialis and smoking Enjoy a does cialis increase size variety of stations where you can print, draw, paint or collage your unique creation
  • Pottery Studio: Decorate a raku bowl and watch the raku firing
  • Rug Hooking: Try your hand at the traditional art of rug hooking

Completed photograms

We made our way to every room of the Art Centre to collect all 10 passport stamps and then filled out the ballot for entry into the draw.

It was then back outside to try a few of the kids outdoor activities and listen to the musical performer while munching on fresh cut fries from Country Boys (our favourite!).

Burlington Art Centre Fine Art and Craft Festival

There were still so many booths we hadn’t visited yet, and there were a few we went back to look at more than once.

The organizers work hard to ensure a well-balanced selection across many categories: clothing, accessories, glass, pottery, jewellery, paintings, photography, wood and metal craft and more.

Glass garden art

Baby Burlington found a hand-crafted wooden toy boat to play with.

Wooden boat

When we came across Lori Skinner’s A Bird in the Hand booth, we knew we had found just the right gift for Father’s Day.

Lori’s birds are carved, painted, gently distressed and then weatherproofed. We bought a bright red cardinal that will look fantastic set in the garden behind the cottage on Cameron Lake.

Wooden birds

To get a sense for the large variety of high quality pieces available, check out the online gallery featuring photos submitted by the vendors.

Burlington Art Centre Fine Arts and Craft Festival in partnership with Kaleidoscope of the Arts

This was our first Burlington Art Centre adventure and I know we’ve just scratched the surface. There are always classes and shows, auctions and other events that keep the Centre bustling. We’ll be back in November (if not before) for their famous annual Soup Bowl sale. At this event you select a bowl that has been handcrafted by a local artisan and then fill it with soup catered by a well-known Burlington restaurant. Pair it with a roll, salad and dessert and enjoy your meal before taking the bowl home with you. See you there!

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Cast a Line on Bronte Creek Family Fun Day | Adventure #40

“This was the best adventure yet, Dad!”

That’s about the highest praise an event can get. So when 6-year old Jr Burlington excitedly made that claim as we drove away from Lowville Park at the end of Adventure #40, I knew that Trout Unlimited had created something special with their Bronte Creek Family Fun Day.

Going into this adventure, I thought it might include a few informal games played creekside. I didn’t expect the extensive variety of carefully planned activities that we enjoyed. We were presented with nine activity stations to visit — each focused on furthering appreciation of the Bronte Creek watershed in a fun way!

Welcome to Bronte Creek Family Fun Day!

Trout Unlimited is an organization dedicated to conserving, protecting and restoring Canada’s freshwater ecosystems. Since 2009, one of the projects the group has focused on is the restoration of Bronte Creek.

It seems that Bronte Creek “has run a fever” and its aquatic inhabitants are suffering as a result. Trout Unlimited wants to bring this fever down by decreasing water temperature.

They have been working hard over the past few years to make this happen. Last year alone, the group restored over 1km of Bronte Creek at Lowville Park — this

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is represents 2% of its total length!

In addition to many hands-on workdays, part of the solution is education; Bronte Creek Family Fun Days are a part of this.

Trout Unlimited Registration table

At the registration table, we picked up our event passport from Stacey.

The passport had nine different stations for us to visit. The stations were:

  • Fishy Escapades
  • Wonderful Water’s Edge
  • Amazing Aquatic Bugs
  • Stream of Dreams
  • Down the Drain
  • Fantastic Fly Tying
  • Crazy Casting
  • Fabulous Fish

Amazing Aquatic Bugs Lowville Park

Our first stop was the Amazing Aquatic Bugs activity station hosted by the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH).

Earlier in the day, the volunteers had collected a large variety of water bugs from the creek. Families were challenged to look at a chart and identify them. We spotted crayfish, a damselfly and an aquatic earthworm — that was enough to earn us a completion sticker!

Aquatic Bugs at Trout Unlimited Bronte Creek Family Fun Day

When I saw Trout Unlimited’s mascot, Boomer the Bass, I had to take a family photo to share! After all, it’s not every day you see a walk-around fish.

Posing with Boomer the Bass

The Down the Drain activity station was quite effective in getting its message across.

Kids were first asked to sprinkle a number of pretend contaminants over a three-dimensional rural scene. For example, brown candy sprinkles represented dog poop and dish soap represented detergents. Spray bottles were then handed out and “rain” showered the scene. This caused the land pollutants to flow into the streams and lakes — much to the dismay of the kids.

Down the Drain activity

Crazy Casting was next. This was an opportunity to play fisherman by casting a line and catching a variety of fish species using magnets. Vic was very patient and helpful in showing how to use a fishing rod and teaching how to ID some of the fish. We learned how to identify bass and what the differences are between smallmouth and largemouth bass.

Crazy Casting challenge

Have you ever passed a school yard and wondered what the painted fish on the fence are all about? Elizabeth Wren coordinates the Stream of Dreams program for Conservation Halton and she was there to tell us!

I could sense her passion for this project from the dynamic way she conveyed the story — even though she’s probably told it hundreds of times before.

Streams of Dreams

After hearing the story of an eight year old girl’s mission to educate others on water protection, event-goers were invited to paint wooden “dream fish” for a Stream of Dreams mural to be installed at Courtcliffe Park in Carlisle.

Painting fish

Wonderful Water’s Edge was a new activity this year. It challenged participants to read questions about the animal inhabitants of the Bronte Creek watershed and search for answers posted on stakes along the edge of the creek.

New Water's Edge challenge alongside Bronte Creek

After the first eight activities were complete, the time came to visit the last station where a long-awaited prize would be awarded. The boys played Plinko to determine what their prize would be. Baby Burlington won a knapsack and some temporary tattoos while Jr Burlington was lucky enough to land on a fishing rod package that also included a fishing hat and lures!

Bronte Creek Family Fun Day prizes

If you missed this Fun Day at Lowville Park, there is another one coming up this summer! Trout Unlimited Canada will host their final Bronte Creek Family Fun Day of the season at Courtcliffe Park in Carlisle (City of Hamilton) on Saturday, June 22nd from 11am to 3pm.

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